The crater, which was under Greenland ice among the 25 largest impact crater on Earth


An international team led by researchers from the Center for Geogenetics at the Science Museum of Denmark, the University of Copenhagen, discovered a 31 kilometers a wide meteorite crater struck under the ice sheet in the Greenland Glacier Hiawatha.

If it's confirmed, it would be the first impact crater, discovered under one of the continental ice sheets of the Earth, researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark said.

The crater characters were first detected by NASA's Icebridge operation, an airborne crew that uses a radar to track ice changes on a Greenland ice sheet.

Researchers worked for in the last three years to check their discovery, first in 2015.

Everything about the crater

According to a study published in the Science Advances magazine, the crater measures more than 31 km in diameter, which corresponds to an area larger than Paris and larger than Washington DC, which ranks among the 25 largest impact crater on Earth.

What are craters?

A short stroke is circular depression on the surface, usually which are related to the planet, moon, asteroid or other celestial bodies, which is caused by a collision of a smaller body (meteor) with a surface.

How did such a great crater come about?

Map of the topography of the underground ice under the ice sheet and the earth without ice around the crater of Hiawatha. The structure is 31 km wide, with a clear circumference that surrounds the structure (picture: Danish Natural History Museum)

The crater occurs when a kilometer is wide Iron meteorite has broken into northern Greenland but since then it has been hidden under almost a mile of ice.

"The crater is extremely well preserved and it is surprisingly, because the ice ice is an incredibly effective erosion agent this would quickly remove traces of impact, "said Professor Kurt H. Kjaer from the Science Museum of Denmark.

"So far it has not been possible to give the crater directly, but its condition strongly suggests that Greenland began to cover the ice, both younger than three million years ago and perhaps up to 12,000 years ago – towards the end of the last ice age," he said .

When was it first discovered?

Discovering the northwest ice boundary in Inglefield Land. A short hit Hiawatha was found under a semi-circular ice border (picture: Danish Natural History Museum)

The crater was first discovered in July 2015, when researchers examined a new map of topography under the Greenland Greenland.

"The past radar measurements of the Hiawatha glacier were part of NASA's long-term effort to map the Greenlandic changing ice cap," explains Joe MacGregor, NASA glaciologist.

"What we really needed to test our hypothesis was a dense and focused radar survey there. The survey surpassed all expectations and showed depression in stunning details: a distinct circular edge, a central ascent, disturbed and undisturbed ice crystallization and basal scraps – this it's all there. "

There was a huge but previously unnoticed circular depression under the glacier Hiawatha, sitting on the edge of the ice sheet of northern Greenland.

"We knew immediately that this was something special, but at the same time it became clear that it would be difficult to confirm the source of depression," Kjaer said.

The 20-tonne iron meteorite sitting in the courtyard at the Geological Museum in Copenhagen.

Also to read | This new artificial intelligence technique found 6,000 new craters on the Moon

Also to read | In the last few years, seven major craters have been found to have the greatest impact

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